Kids are better at the Marshmallow Challenge even though it doesn’t involve eating candy

Just found out about the Marshmallow Challenge and my favourite part of this talk was how kindergarteners perform so much better at this than graduates of business school. We were all children once, but along the way we seem to have forgotten that the best way to learn is to do, and experiment, and fail, and do it again. As grownups, we spend far too much time planning and thinking and talking and being afraid of looking bad or failing, when we should just be doing. It’s something I remind myself from time to time, but even the very act of reminding myself is “talking” instead of “doing”. Remembering that it’s okay to be in the beta phase makes me feel better about what I do and who I am, and it especially makes me feel better about this blog, which pretty much has been in “beta” for the past 10 years.

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“Give childhood back to children”

No, our children don’t need more school. They need more play. If we care about our children and future generations, we must reverse the horrid trend that has been occurring over the past half century. We must give childhood back to children. Children must be allowed to follow their inborn drives to play and explore, so that they can grow into intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically strong and resilient adults. The Chinese are finally beginning to realise this, and so should we.

If indeed (some of) the Chinese (in China) are starting to realise this, from what I’ve seen and heard, most of the ethnic Chinese in the rest of Australasia have not. And we need to, for the sake of our kids and our future selves.

A long while ago, I read an article that said kids should be allowed to get bored sometimes because that is when they start to use their imaginations and be creative. I don’t remember the source anymore but it was a great article because it made me feel so much better about how I regularly leave my 3yo to entertain herself while I work from home. I also began to notice that when she was left alone, she would tell stories, act out princess scenes, pretend play, build “houses” out of sofa cushions and “go shopping”.

Of course the question of what constitutes play then arises, and whether there’s “good” play or “bad” play, because inevitably parents will only want their child to do the “best kind of play”. That’s a different discussion altogether. For now, you can read Dr Peter Gray’s full article here. He raises some pretty important points.

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A math lecture? From me? The world must be ending

I am not a math person at all, and it did take me a couple minutes to wrap my numbers-rusty brain around what he’s saying, but once I did, it was kind of awesome and scary at the same time.

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Probably the most important lesson on racism we’ll ever learn

The racism experiment video that’s been making the rounds in social media. So brilliant in its method, so disturbing because it shows how easily and quickly we turn on each other when our differences are pointed out and “defined”. (Thanks to Upworthy for bringing this to everyone’s attention.)

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‘Don’t You Worry Child’ by PS22 Chorus and Ithacappella

My love for PS22 Chorus has a lot to do with good music, but even more to do with passion (from them) and hope (for me). The way the kids move and sing, the way their voices come together – it always moves me.

Chorus director Gregg “Mr. B” Breinberg inspires me to want to make a difference in my own little circle because he is proof that, with talent, hard work and dedication, I can. That’s the “what” of it. The “how” I have yet to figure out.

I love how these kids are getting the opportunity and mentoring of a lifetime with Mr. B, and I can only hope and pray that my kid should be so lucky to find her own versions of “PS22” as she grows up.

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